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Barnes, in his CommonweaUh of Missouri, tells us that "the earliest historical 
mention of the present site of Kansas City is found in the memoirs of Daniel 
Boone Junior (Daniel Morgan Boone), who reached the Great Bend of the 
Missouri River as early as the close of the eighteenth century, and lies buried in 
the old Westport graveyard with no mark over his resting place."' 

For twelve years, Daniel Morgan Boone, the third son of Daniel Boone the 
pioneer, spent his summers in St. Louis, and his winters in hunting and trapping 
beaver on the Big Blue River and the Little Blue River, in what is now Jackson 
County, Mo., which he declared to be the best beaver country he bad ever 
known. Here, where Kansas City now stands, "it was that Lewis and Clark 
halted for a week's rest in 1804, on their famous expedition."' "Merriweather 
Lewis and William Clark, under orders from President Jefferson, ascended the 
Missouri to its sources, crossed the Rocky Mountains to the head waters of the 
Columbia River, and floated down that river to the Pacific Ocean, 1804, 1806." 
Through Kansas City's site, the gateway to the plains. Lieutenant Pike, 
afterwards Brigadier General Pike, an oflScer in the service of the United 
States, passed at the head of his company, in 1805, on an exploring expedition 
to the sources of the Kansas, Arkansas, Platte, and Pierre Jaune Rivers. Pike's 
Peak, which he discovered in 1806, is named after him. (Brigadier General 
Pike was killed in Canada, in the war of 1812.) 

The first or earliest historic mention of the word "Kansas," is found in the 
Journal records of the Lewis and Clark expedition, where, under date of Jime 4, 
1804, in describing their ascent of the Missouri River, it is recorde<l: "We 
encamped at the upper point of the mouth of the river Kansas." Kansas City 
derives its name from its proximity to the river Kansas, and the river Kansas 
takes its name from the Kansas tribe of Indians who formerly owned and 
occupied the country watered by the Kansas River. The old settlers and pioneers 
spelled and pronounced the word variously, Konseas, Cances, Kons, Kanzan, 
Kaw, which have merged bj' common usage into the word Kansas. By the 
mouth of the Kaw and the Nodawa, there came up, in 1810, from St. Louis and 
Fort Osage, the flotilla of the American Fur Company, organized by John Jacob 

' In the Diocesean Archives of Kansas City are preserved some vahiul)le and 
interesting articles from the pen of the late Bishop of Kansas City, llight Rev. 
John Joseph Hogan, referring to the early history of the place now known as Kansas 
City, Mo. The excerpts given in this paper present in chronological order those 
main facts and notable events which mark the early days of that city. The passages 
selected give also a fair idea of the activities of the pioneer priests who labored in 
this section of Missouri, and of the many diflBeulties they encountered. 

« Op. cit., pp. 747-748. 

' Barnes, op. cit., pp. 168, 747. 



Astor of New York. This famous expedition, under the command of William 
Price Hunt of Trenton, N. J., left Montreal, Canada, early in 1810, by way of 
Mackinaw, Green Bay, the Fox, Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, and reached 
St. Louis September 3, 1810. Having set out from St. Louis October 21, 1810, 
they ascended the Missouri River (by mouth of the Kaw and the Nodawa) to 
its sources, passed over the summits of the Rocky Mountains, and discovered 
the sources of the Columbia River down to the Pacific Ocean, which they reached 
on February 15, 1812. 

Pierre Liquest Laclede of the firm "Laclede, Maxent & Co.," otherwise called 
the "Louisiana Fur Company," left New Orleans on August 3, 1763, to ascend 
the Mississippi River in search of a location for a trading post, which he estab- 
lished the following year, and named it St. Louis after St. Louis, King of France, 
In the expedition with Pierre Liquest Laclede were two adventurous youths — 
Auguste Chouteau, 14 years of age, and his younger brother, Pierre Chouteau, 
both recently arrived from France. Auguste Chouteau was from the beginning 
Pierre Liquest Laclede's favorite and trusted friend. Auguste Chouteau married 
a young woman from New Orleans in her sixteenth year, by name Marie- 
Therese, said to be the first white woman who set foot on Missouri soil. Mrs. 
Marie-Therese Chouteau was afterwards better known as Madame Chouteau. 
The issue of this marriage was one child. Pierre Chouteau likewise married in 
his early days, and had eight sons and one daughter. The sons' names were 
Pierre, Charles, Francois, Cyprian, Auguste, Louis, Pharamond, and Frederick. 
Francois, the third son, called also Francis Gesso, married, in 1819, Miss 
Berenice Menard of Kaskaskia, 111. She was the daughter of Col. Pierre 
Menard, first (Territorial) Governor of Illinois, and was born in 1801. 

Francis Gesso Chouteau and his wife in 1819 voyaged in a canoe or boat 
called a pirogue, rowed or propelled by oars or poles, from St. Louis to the 
Black Snake Hills (where afterwards was built the city of St. Joseph) on the 
Upper Missouri River, and established there a western agency of the American 
Fur Company of New York. The Black Snake Hills were not considered suit- 
able for the purpose of the proposed agency, and Gesso Chouteau and his wife 
reembarked on the pirogue, sailing down stream with the current, and dis- 
embarked probably at the mouth of the Kansas River, to make an examination 
of the place, with the view of selecting it for his agency which he soon afterwards 
established there. Continuing his voyage down stream in company with his 
wife to his home at St. Louis, he sent Louis BerthoUet, commonly called Grand 
Louis, with his wife Mrs. BerthoUet, and stepson Louis Prem, and some employes 
to ascend the Missouri River, in order to select a location for the proposed 
trading post at the Indian Trail, south of the Bandolph Bluffs. They were to 
build some houses for workmen preparatory to the erection of more permanent 
buildings. Louis BerthoUet, with his wife and stepson and employes, journeyed 
by water in a bateau, and on arriving, they commenced building some log cabins 
on the south side of the Missouri River, opposite the Randolph Bluffs. But the 
Indians put a stop to their work and ordered them off the lands. He then moved 
to the north side of the river and erected a camp or temporary shelter, where he 
remained awaiting the arrival of Mr. Chouteau. 


III 1822, Francis Gesso Chouteau, in three keel boats, with his family and 
thirty-five employes, arrived from St. Louis and commenced the work of building 
houses for the trading post. He first obtained the consent of the Indians to the 
proposed establishment, which was to be erected on the south side of the 
Missouri River near the place now known as Randolph Point. Mrs. Berenice 
Chouteau is considered the first white woman who set foot on the place where 
Kansas City now stands. After Mrs. Chouteau came Mrs. BerthoUet, the 
second white woman, with her family and relatives. At this time steamboat 
navigation had begun in the Lower Missouri, the first steamboat trip, from St. 
Louis to the mouth of the Chariton River, being made in 1819. 

On March 2, 1821, by resolution of Congress, Missouri was admitted into 
the Union, and on August 10, 1821, James Monroe, President of the United 
States, issued his proclamation declaring that Missouri had become a State of 
the American Union. At this time (1821) the only white residents of the place 
now known as Kansas City were Frenchmen, trappers, hunters and trader.«. 
and these were all Catholics. 

When Missouri was admitted into the Union, the title of the Kansas Osage.-! 
and other tribes of Indians to a large tract of land lying immediately south of 
the Missouri River on the western confines of the State, in which tract Kansas 
City is situated, was vested in the Indians themselves, notin severalty but in tribal 
ownership, the right of eminent domain resting with the Federal Government. 
By a treaty dated June 3, 1825, made at Fort Osage, with the Indian Tribes 
who owned these lands, the United States came into possession of this tract of 
country, and immediately opened it for purchase and settlement. Himdreds of 
families, who had been on the borders awaiting the day of admission to these 
lands, soon rushed in and began selecting sites for their future homesteads, thu.s 
adding another element to the population already on the ground and engaged 
in trading with the Fur Companies. By an act of the Missouri Legislature 
dated February 16, 1825, Jackson County was established and its limits defined 
by metes and bounds. The Jackson County Court organized for business on 
December 15, 182C. In 1826, a great flood in the Missouri River submerged 
Francis Gesso Chouteau's trading post which had been built in 1822 opposite 
the Randolph Bluffs. This caused the removal of the trading post to a point 
farther up the river, at or near the place now known as the foot of Harrison 
Street. This new trading post comprised several log houses, into which Chou- 
teau moved his family, workmen, and goods. At this time others were located 
near this Chouteau hamlet, namely, Daniel Morgan Boone, son of the famous 
pioneer; Gabriel Philibert, blacksmith by government appointment to the 
Indians; and Benito Vasquez, sub-agent for the Indians. 

After the subsidence of the great flood of 1826, in the Missouri River. 
Gabriel Prudhomme, a French Canadian, bought some of the Chouteau property 
at the foot of Harrison Street, and occupied 256 acres of land at the place after- 
wards known as "Westport Landing" which subsequently became the First or 
"Old Town Site," called then the "Town of Kansas," and now " City." 
In 1830 a surveying party sent out by the Government, came from the East, 
through Independence, crossed to the west of the Big Blue River, thence north- 


west over the Kaw or Kansas River, going further northwest, where they 
surveyed and established eleven sections of land for a large military reservation, 
afterward to be known as "Fort Leavenworth." In 1831, a number of French 
Canadians, with Indian wives and half-breed children, eight or more families 
in all, came down the Missouri River from the upper sources in the Rocky 
Mountains, to the mouth of the Kansas River, and entered or bought small 
tracts of land in the "West Bottoms" and commenced a settlement there. 
Previous to this, the "West Bottoms" was a tractless uninhabited forest. On 
May 1, 1832, Captain Bonneville with his party of 110 men, mostly hunters 
and trappers, set out from Fort Osage (now Sibley) on the Missouri River, 
and reached the Kansas River on May 12; they entered the Missouri River from 
the South, where White Plume, the imposing Kansas Chief, ruled his tribe. 
From the mouth of the Kansas River, this expedition moved westward over the 
plains, to the sources of the Missouri, the Wmd River Mountains, and the 
Big Horn Mountains. 

In 1833, the first consignment of goods from a steamboat was landed at 
Kansas City, at the foot of Grand Avenue, for John Calvin McCoy of Westport, 
which had then begun to be considered a place of some commercial importance. 
This landing place on the bank of the Missouri thenceforward became known as 
"Westport landing." John Calvin McCoy thus describes the site of Westport 
Landing, now Kansas City: 

The picture, as I first saw it, in 1832, of her rough precipitous hills, deep 
impassable gorges, and of the dense forest and almost impenetrable vines, 
brushwood and fallen timber; of the old field of a few acres on the high ridgo 
overlooking the river, surrounded by an old dilapidated rail fence, with a 
few old monarchs of the forest with bare limbs, that had withstood the rude 
blasts and bufifetings of the storms for a hundred years; of the log house 
standing on the rocky brink of the river, with its occupant, one-eyed Ellis 
and his brood of young barefooted and barelegged children; of the narrow 
winding pathway along the river bank; and of the solitary crow perched high 
on a limb of one of the old trees; all, all, are still vividly impressed upon my 
memory: much more vividly doubtless, from the contrast of the magical 
change that is now pictured to me upon the same ground.* 

A History of Kansas City, Mo., edited by Theo. S. Case, and published in 
1888, states at page 301: "In 1825, when all this section of the country was still 
in the possession of the Indians, Jesuit Fathers from St. Louis organized a 
mission near the mouth of the Kaw River." This statement is not sustained by 
the facts, which are as follows : 

In 1763, the Superior Council of Louisiana, a body of civilians, having charge 
of Louisiana Territory Government, in imitation of the irreligious conduct of 
most of the European Governments at that time, published a decree suppressing 
the Jesuits throughout Louisiana. Louisiana Territory was then a country of 
vast expanse. From the time that Illinois was first discovered by Marquette 

* This description of the site of Kansas City as it was in 18.32, was written by 
Mr. John Calvin McCoy, forty years later, in 1872. 


and Joliet and the Lower Mississippi was explored by La Salle, the French 
claimed the whole territory from the AUeghanies to the Eocky Mountains as the 
Territory of Louisiana, and the dominion continued until the Treaty of Paris 
(1763) was duly signed and published and its terms proclaimed in Great Britain 
and France and throughout their foreign possessions. In Kaskaskia, 111., 
which was then in Louisiana, there were three Jesuit Priests, one of whom was 
Rev. Sebastian Muerin. These three priests were arrested at Kaskaskia, and 
sent prisoners to New Orleans. All the Louisiana Jesuits with one or two excep- 
tions, were deported from New Orleans to France, and their property in Lou- 
isiana was confiscated. Father Muerin by his earnest entreaties saved himself 
from being deported, and obtained permission to return to Kaskaskia as a 
secular priest to attend to his Indians. Without means he struggled on his 
long journey homeward, and without home or church began his missionary 
labors anew at Kaskaskia. In May, 1766, he visited and administered the 
sacraments in the new town of St. Louis which had been founded two years 
previous by Pierre Liquest Laclede. Again in 1772, Father Muerin visited 
St. Louis, and stayed there from February to May attending the Catholics of the 
place. In 1774, Father Muerin at Cahokia, 111., heard the sad news of the 
suppression of the Jesuits throughout the world (July 21 , 1773) , by Pope Clement 
XrV. In his distress he wrote to the Bishop of Quebec, in whose Diocese 
Illinois was at that time included, requesting that he be received as a secular 
priest into the Quebec Diocese and be permitted to stay at Cahokia; a request 
which the Bishop readily granted. In 1775, Father Muerin again visited St. 
Louis. After his return to his mission at Cahokia, he died in 1775, and was 
buried in his church there. Father Muerin was the last member of the sup- 
pressed Society in the Illinois country and the Louisiana Territory. 

For forty one years, from 1773, the Jesuits were suppressed and disbanded. 
On August 7, 1814, they were officially restored by Pope Pius VII. After their 
restoration, the Maryland Jesuits were the first to organize in the United 
States. In 1823, Bishop Dubourg of New Orleans, whose jurisdiction embraced 
Upper and Lower Louisiana, applied to Very Bev. Father Charles Neale, S.J., 
Provincial of the Jesuits in Maryland, to supply him with Jesuit misssionaries 
for educating and civilizing the Indians in the territories west of the Mississippi. 
Accordingly, on April 11, 1823, under the guidance of Rev, Charles Van 
Quickenborne, S.J., superior, and of Rev. Peter J. Timinermans, S.J., assistant 
superior, six Jesuit scholastics, and some Jesuit lay brothers, set out from 
Maryland, and arrived at St. Louis on May 31, 1823. The Jesuit scholastics 
were: F. L. Verreydt, F. G. Van Assche, P. J. Verhaegen, P. J. De Smet, J. A. 
Elet, and J. B. Smedts. In June, 1823, the two Jesuit Fathers, with their six 
novices and the lay brothers, took possession of a farm near Florissant, Mo., 
donated to them by a Mr. O'Neil of Florissant, and there established their 
Novitiate. Of these six novices, two — P. J. Verhaegen, and J. B. Smedts — 
were ordained priests in 1825. The other four were ordained priests in 1827. 
Father Van Quickenborne made occasional visits during the years 1828, 1829 
and 1830 to the Osage Indians in Southern Kansas; but the Osage Mission in 
Kansas was not permanently established until 1847. Father Van Quickenborne 


also established the Kickapoo Indian Mission near Fort Leavenworth in 1837. 
That same year (1837) Father Van Quickenborne died (August 17) at Portage 
des Sioux, Mo. In 1838, Father De Smet, with the assistance of Father 
Verreydt, established a mission among the Pottowattomie Indians at Council 

Rev. Benedict Roux, a native of France, priest of the Diocese of St. Louis 
was the first resident priest of the place now known as Kansas City. Rev. 
Benedict Roux's Register of Baptisms extends over a period of one year, two 
months and two days; namely, from February 23, 1834, to April 25, 1835. At 
or soon after this date he must have been transferred to Kaskaskia, 111. ; for his 
name appears in the United Stales Catholic Almanac for 1836 and following 
years, as Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church, Kaskaskia. Kaskaskia 
was then in the Diocese of St. Louis. In 1840, 1841, Rev. Benedict Roux's 
name appears in the Catholic Almanacs, in the Clergy List of the Diocese of 
St. Louis, but the church or mission attended by him is not given. In 1842, 
1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, the United States Catholic Almanacs make mention of 
him as stationed at the Cathedral of St. Louis. Afterwards his name is not 
found in the Abnanac Clergy Lists. It is said he returned to France and died 
there. The Catholics attended by Reverend Father Roux, including those on 
the Kansas Border and in Clay County, Mo., may have numbered 150 souls.^ 

' Such are the tacts of the history of the Jesuits of St. Louis in their early days, 
as recorded in our ecclesiastical annals. But it does not appear anywhere of record 
as stated by the editor of the History of Kansas City already referred to, that "in 
1825, when all this section of country was still in the possession of the Indians, 
Jesuit Fathers from St. Louis organized a mission near the mouth of the Kansas 

• The name of Rev. Benedict Roux also appears on the Records of Jackson County 
in connection with several land transfers, one made by the United States to Benedict 
Roux, conveying West J^ Lots 1 and 2, N.E. J^ Section 6, Township 49, Range 33; 
the other made by Pierre Laliberte to Benedict Roux, dated April 5, 1834, recorded 
in Book C, page 148, and described as follows, viz: S. E. J^ of N. E. }4< Section 6, 
Township 49, Range 33, containing 40 acres. By Warrantee Deed, dated October 
20, 1838, Benedict Roux sells to PYancis Mumblo, consideration $700, the following 
land, viz: South East Quarter of North East Quarter of Section 6, Township 49, 
Range 33; "except ten acres in a square, on ike centre of which a log church and a log 
house are put up." Also conveys West J^ of Lots 1 and 2, in N. E. }4, section 6, 
Township 49, Range 33. The log church referred to in this deed was built by 
Rev. Benedict Roux in 1835 and dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. This was the 
6rst church erected in the territory of the Kansas City diocese. It stood at the 
place now known as Eleventh and Penn Streets, Kansas City. In the first Kansas 
City Diocesan Synod, held in 1887, St. John Francis Regis was named principal 
patron of the diocese, for the reason that (as is stated in the pages of the synod) to 
him was dedicated the first church {i. e., that at Westport erected in 1842) in the 
territory that now comprises the diocese. This, however, was an inadvertence of 
the Fathers of the Synod. A Warrantee Deed, dated January 31, 1839, consideration 
$2 (recorded Book K., page 14, at Independence July 23, 1844), by Benedict Roux 
to Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, Catholic Bishop of St. Louis, Mo., conveys 10 acres 


Among the children baptized by Father Roux, were Elizabetli Boout, born in 
1833, and Eulalie Boone, born in 1835. These were grand daughters of the 
famous pioneer, Daniel Boone, and daughters of Daniel Morgan Boone, who 
taught school in 1835 in the Catholic parsonage. 

Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, Bishop of St. Louis, by his last will and testa- 
ment, dated December 4, 1841, and recorded March 13, 1846, in Book L., 
page 326, Jackson County Records, devised to his successor, Right Rev. Peter 
Richard Kenrick, the "10 acres in a square, in the center of which a log church 
and log house are put up," in S. E. J^ o: N. E. J^, section 6, Township 49, 
Range 33, in Jackson County, Mo. The will of Right Rev. Joseph Rosati, 
Bishop of St. Louis, was written in Philadelphia on December 4, 1841, which 
was the third day after the consecration of Right Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick 
as Bishop Rosati's Coadjutor, with right of succession. Bishop Kenrick's 
consecration took place in St. Mary's Church of which he was pastor, in 
Philadelphia, on St. Andrew's day, November 30, 1841. 

Gabriel Prudhomme, a French Canadian, and a member of Father Roux's 
congregation, entered 256 acres of government land at the place afterwards 
called "Westport Landing." He died in 1836 and in 1838, three commissioners 
appointed by the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mo., with many others, 
assembled on the south bank of the Missouri, where Grand Avenue now termi- 
nates, and there sold for $4 220, Gabriel Prudhomme's 256 acres of land, to a 
company of speculators organized to plat the tract as a town site, and to sell 
it in building lots to settlers. The town site was platted the following year, 
1839, by a surveyor, John Calvin McCoy, and is now designated in the Kansas 
City maps and plats as the "Old Town." 

Francis Gesso Chouteau died at the place now known as Kansas City, in 
1838. The Chouteau estate comprised about twelve hundred acres, and was 
sold to a Mr. Guinotte, agent of a Belgian Emigrant Company. In 1837, 
Reverend Father Van Quickenborne, S.J., superior of the Jesuits of Florissant 
and St. Louis, passed through the place now known as Kansas City, on his 
way to establish the Kickapoo Indian Mission near Fort Leavenworth. In 
1838, Father De Smet, S.J., went up the Missouri River, past Kansas City, to 
establish a mission among the Pottowattomie Indians at Council Bluffs. That 
same year Reverend Father Petit, of the Diocese of Vincennes, pastor of the 
Pottowattomie Indians in Michigan Territory, in his journey with these Indians, 
passed through Kansas City on the way to their new home which had been 
assigned to them by the Government, at Sugar Creek, the head waters of the 
Osage R'ver, Indian Territory. In 1839, Father Petit of Sugar Creek resigned 
on account of his health the pastoral charge of the Indians at that place, and 

in a square, on the center of which a log church and a log house are put up; lying in 
Jackson County, Mo., in the S. E. Ji of N. E. 14 of Section 6, Township 49, Range 33, 
being part of the 40-acre tract conveyed on April 5, 1834, by Pierre Laliberte and 
Eleonora Chalefoux, his wife, to Benedict Roux, and reserved by him in his deed of 
transfer to Francis Mumblo. 

The above mentioned ten acres is the land between Broadway and Summit, and 
Eleventh and Twelfth Streets, Kansas City, Mo. 


journeyed through Kansas City to St. Louis, where he persuaded the Jesuits 
to take charge of the Indians whom he was forced to abandon. Father Petit, 
unable to continue his journey to Vincennes Diocese, died at St. Louis. In 
1839, Hev. Father Christian Hoecken, S.J., went from St. Louis, through Kansas 
City, to Sugar Creek Indian Territory, to take charge of these Indians. In 
1839 "Westport Landing" was chartered with municipal existence as the "Town 
of Kansas. ' 

In 1841 (July 8), Mother Duchesne, superior of the Ladies of Sacred Heart, 
landed from a steamboat from St. Louis at Kansas City, having with her a com- 
munity of said Ladies of the Sacred Heart, to estabHsh schools among the 
Pottowattomies. They arrived at Sugar Creek on the nineteenth of July, 

.\s before stated. Rev. Benedict Roux, who usually signed himself in 
his Register of Baptisms as Parish Priest of Kansas River, was transferred in 
1835. to Kaskaskia, 111. For six years after this, the Kansas River Parish was 
without a pastor, until 1841 when the Jesuits came and took charge of Westport, 
as a place of more importance than "Westport Landing" lately incorporated as 
the "Town of Kansas." 

1841. Westport, Mo.; attended by Rev. Anthony Eisvogels, S.J., from 
Kickapoo village, Indian Territory. 

1842. Westport, Mo.; attended by Rev. Felix Verreydt, S.J., from Potto- 
wattomie village. Sugar Creek, Indian Territory. 

1842. In the month of June, Right Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Bishop of 
Drasa, Coadjutor to Bishop Rosati, passed through Kansas City and Westport, 
on his journey to administer confirmation to the Pottowattomie Indians at 
Sugar Creek, Indian Territory. 

In 1842, John C. Fremont, on June 10, began his exploring expedition by 
setting out from Kansas City for the Rocky Moimtains. When leaving Kansas 
City, looking westward, he said: "This is the key to the great territory west of 
us." While preparing for his journey. Colonel Fremont and his wife and his 
father-in-law, Col. Thomas Hart Benton, made their headquarters at the 
residence of Col. William M. Chick, built Ln the then fashionable residence 
quarter of the town, between Main Street and Grand Avenue, and between 
Second Street and the Missouri River. 

1843. Westport, Mo.; attended by Rev. Anthony Eisvogels, S.J.; Church of 
St. John Francis Regis. This church was erected in 1842. 

1844. Westport, Mo.; Church of St. John Francis Regis. Attended by 
Rev. Peter Verhaegen, S.J. 

1845. F. X. Aubrey, principal freighter of merchandise between Kansas 
City and Santa Fe, rode 800 miles, from the Plaza of Santa Fe to Kansas City, 
in four days; thereby making the route famous, and opening the way for the 
"Pony Express," and the 'Overland Lines" of railway that were soon to traverse 
the plains of the "Great American Desert." 

1845. Westport, Mo.; Church of St John Francis Regis, attended by Rev. 
Anthony Eisvogels, S.J., from St. Joseph, Mo. 

1846. Westport Mo.; Church of St. John Francis Regis, attended by Jesuit 
Father* from Pottowattomie Village, Sugar Creek, Indian Territory. 


Among the priests, who labored on the Kansas City Mission in early days. 
Rev. Father Bernard Donnelly holds a notable place. He was born on the 
twenty-ninth of June, 1810, at Kilnacreevy, County Cavan, Ireland. Having 
passed through the primary schools of his neighborhood, he spent four years 
studying classics and civil engineering. With the tide of emigration he left 
Ireland and landed at New York in June, 1839. He left New York and travelled 
westward to Athens, Ohio, where he called on Mr. McGuffy, president of the 
Ohio State University. After a rigorous examination, Mr. McGuffy gave 
Mr Donnelly high testimonials of capacity as teacher. From Athens, Ohio. 
Mr. Donnelly travelled still farther westward, to St. Mary's Seminary, Barrens, 
Perry County, Mo., where he was appointed Professor of Greek and the higher 
mathematics. When not occupied in teaching, Mr. Donnelly was studying 
theology and acquiring the varied knowledge necessary for the priesthood. 
The purpose of his life was attained, when he was called from St. Mary's Semi- 
nary to St. Louis, where on the seventeenth of May, 1845, he was ordained 
Priest, in the St. Louis Cathedral, by Right Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, 
Bishop of St. Louis. Without delay he was appointed resident pastor of 
Independence, Mo., which place had been attended since 1841 as an outmission 
by the Jesuit Fathers residing at Westport. And as it would seem, Kansas 
City must have been added as a mission to Independence, under Father 
Donnelly's jurisdiction, for he says in one of his newspaper publications: "On 
my arrival at Westport Landing, now Kansas City, in 1845, I was glad to find 
a log church and parsonage on the lot." 

In 1847, after the Jesuits had left Westport, Rev. Bernard Donnelly resided 
at the "Town of Kansas" of which he was pastor. This accords with the 
statement given in the United States Catholic Almanac as follows: "1847; 
Kansas, Jackson County, Mo.; Church of St Francis Regis; attended by Rev. 
B. Donnelly, who resides at Kansas." This, however, must have been but a 
temporary arrangement, as would appear from the following report of the 
mission in the United States Catholic Almanac; "1848, Kansas, Jackson County, 
Mo.; Rev. A. Saunier." 

In 1849 (September), Rev. A. Saunier was transferred from Kansas, Jackson 
County, Mo., to Little Canada and Valle's Mines in St. Genevieve County, Mo. 

In 1849 (October), Rev. Bernard Donnelly took charge of Kansas City 
Mission, which he attended from Independence, where he resided. At or 
about this time, the Right Rev. Edward Barron, D.D., Bishop of Upper and 
Lower Guinea, Africa, on his return to the United States, where he had formerly 
resided, visited Archbishop Kenrick, of St. Louis. Bishop Barron, by request 
of Archbishop Kenrick, went to Independence, where Father Donnelly was 
pastor, and administered confirmation there. Accompanied by Father Donnelly 
he went from Independence to the "Town of Kansas " and there likewise admin- 
istered confirmation. 

On November 1, 1847, the noted missionary and traveller among the wild 
Indian Tribes, Father De Smet, S.J., was a guest of Father Donnelly at this place 
(i. e., the log cabin in the Town of Kansas). {History of Kansas City, by 
Theo. S. Case. Page 19.) 


1852. First Protestant Church erected in Kansas City, on Fifth Street, 
between Delaware and Wyandotte Streets, Rev. Alfred H Powel, pastor. 

1852. The "Moore School" commenced at or near Sixteenth and Wyandotte 
Streets, as afterwards laid out. 

1853. "Town of Kansas" changed its name into "City of Kansas." 

1853. Col. Thomas Hart Benton, United States Senator for Missouri, 
invited by the Kansas City Town Council, visited Kansas City. In his speech 
to the people of Kansas City, Colonel Benton said of the site of Kansas City : 
"There, Gentlemen, where the rocky bluff meets and turns aside the sweeping 
current of this mighty river; there, where the Missouri, after running its south- 
ward course for nearly two thousand miles, turns eastward to the Mississippi, 
a large commercial manufacturing community will congregate, and less than a 
generation will see a great city on these hills." 

1854. Municipal government established in Kansas City, under charter 
granted by the Missouri Legislature in 1853. 

1857. Rev. Bernard Donnelly transferred from Independence, located 
permanently at Kansas City. 

1857. The log church, built by Father Roux in 1834, is superseded by a 
brick church of dimensions 70 by 30 feet, built by Father Donnelly, West of 
Broadway, between Eleventh and Twelfth Streets. The church stood on the 
middle of the block with front entrance towards Broadway. Adjacent to a little 
sacristy and belfry in the rear of the church, was Father Donnelly's modest 
residence of four rooms, built in irregular style, one room at a time; and near by 
the sexton's two-story house of two rooms, one room over the other. 

Veey Rev. William Keuenhof, V.G., 
Kansas City, Mo.